Organizational Principles of the Civic Solidarity Platform

ORGANIZATIONAL PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES OF THE CIVIC  SOLIDARITY PLATFORM 

  1. Goals and Principles

The Civic Solidarity Platform (CSP) is a coalition of civic organizations and groups from the countries of the region of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), as well as international NGOs, interested in joint action to promote and defend democracy, the rule of law and human rights in the OSCE region. Its member organizations are prepared to coordinate efforts and promote common positions on key issues and provide each other with mutual support and assistance in case of need.

The basic values and vision of the CSP are laid down in its Declaration, adopted on 04 December 2011.

  1. Principles of Association and types of Participation

Organizations and groups working in the OSCE region may participate in the CSP. Participants will determine the degree and form of their engagement in the work of the CSP. The following types of participation exist:

  1. Associate Members  
  • join the CSP by registering with the Secretariat and provide basic contact information and pledge to accept the Declaration;
  • will receive access to the CSP’s informational resources, may participate in its actions and events and may sign on to its declarations;
  • do not receive financial support for their costs in participating in actions and events.
  1. Full Members 
  • have been Associate Members of the CSP for at least two years, submitted an application, including at least three recommendations of Full Members from different countries, to the Secretariat and declare that they will be bound by this document and other documents regulating the activities of the CSP; 
  • are considered adopted by the General Assembly, if there is no opposition from three or more Full Members within two weeks of their application submission and if they can be expected to make a useful additional contribution to the CSP’s activities, in view of its areas of work, contacts, experience, and geographical coverage;
  • actively participate in the work of the CSP’s Working Groups, events and in the formation of the CSP’s common positions;
  • have full voting rights in the CSP General Assembly;
  • may receive financial contributions from the CSP related to their costs in participating in CSP or CSP-related activities, as far as possible.
  1. Working Groups and other Internal Structures

The CSP’s Full Members may form Working Groups and other internal structures to promote effective work in specific directions. Working Groups may be thematic, regional or inter-regional. 

At least three Full Members from at least two countries must propose the formation of such structures to the General Assembly for approval. The Working Group is considered approved by the General Assembly, if there is no opposition from three or more Full Members within two weeks of the proposal submission. A proposal to form a Working Group should be submitted to the Secretariat and include information on its goals and tasks, a list of initial participants from among the Full Members, contact information of at least three representatives of the Working Group, the name of the Coordinator or Co-Coordinators, and internal rules proposed for the group.

The Secretariat registers the formation of Working Groups and publishes information about the Working Group on the CSP's website. Working Group coordinator(s) are responsible for regularly informing/ updating the Secretariat on Working Group status and developments (membership, work plans, events etc.).

Working Groups can develop their own project proposals to pursue their goals and to fulfill their tasks. In order to raise funds in the name of the CSP, such proposals must be approved by the Coordination Committee.

  1. General Assembly

The General Assembly consists of all CSP Full Members. Every Full Member has one vote. It may take decisions when it convenes physically or by electronic voting.

The General Assembly is meeting physically at least once every three years. The Coordination Committee is responsible for the setting of the date, the preparation, the proposal for a chair of physical meetings, and the follow-up. 

The General Assembly may discuss any issue related to the CSP functioning and its activities. It may take decisions on all those issues that are not within exclusive powers of the Supervisory Council and the Coordination Committee. Among other tasks, it

  • adopts new Full Members;
  • approves the formation of new Working Groups;
  • can take a decision on establishing membership fees;
  • approves CSP working strategies, upon proposal of the Coordination Committee;
  • approves the nomination of a Full Member organization to run the Secretariat, upon proposal of the Coordination Committee;
  • receives and discusses reports of the Coordination Committee, Secretariat and the Working Groups.

Votes only take place if the a decision cannot be reached by consensus.

  1. Supervisory Council

The Supervisory Council as a collegial structure serves to keep the institutional memory of the CSP, is responsible for preserving the CSP’s mission and overseeing the observance of the founding principles and values, as set out in its Declaration.

The Supervisory Council is composed of the founding member organizations of the CSP that declare their willingness to stay active in the CSP and contribute to its work. They name a delegate with sufficient knowledge and experience of work in the CSP as their representative in the Supervisory Council.

Other Full Members that have been active in the CSP for at least three years can be co-opted to the Supervisory Council by its decision. The Supervisory Council may not be composed of more than 50 members.

Organizations that want to resign from the Supervisory Council should thus inform the Secretariat.

The Secretariat keeps and updates a list of the Supervisory Council member organizations and their delegates.

The Supervisory Council adopts amendments to the CSP basic documents (the Declaration and the Organizational Principles and Procedures), as well as any additional CSP documents laying down specific rules and procedures. These decisions are made by a qualifying majority (2/3 of the Supervisory Council members) within a period of two months.

The Supervisory Council resolves disputes within and between CSP bodies and members in cases of disagreement. 

The Supervisory Council may decide to exclude a member organization from the CSP. At least three Full CSP Members must propose exclusion. Exclusions are decided by a qualifying majority (2/3 of the Supervisory Council members).

  1. Coordination Committee

The Coordination Committee is an operational body composed of the coordinators of the CSP’s Working Groups, and possibly other internal structures. A representative of the Secretariat is an ex officio member of the Coordination Committee. Working Groups and other internal structures may be represented by one or two coordinators, but each Working Group/ structure has only one vote when decisions are to be made.

The Coordination Committee

  • distributes tasks and responsibilities among its members;
  • ensures coordination and smooth information exchange between the different Working Groups;
  • approves project proposals submitted by Working Groups;
  • may propose amendments to the CSP Organizational Principles and Procedures;
  • coordinates the drafting of other internal documents;
  • elaborates the CSP's overall working strategies;
  • proposes member organizations to run the Secretariat, develops guidelines for the work of the Secretariat and oversees its work;
  • coordinates fundraising on behalf of the CSP;
  • provides annual reporting to the General Assembly on the CSP activities, including transparency and accountability with regard to expenditure and fundraising;
  • calls for General Assembly meetings and/or electronic voting, including preparation and follow-up.
  1. Secretariat

The functions of the Secretariat are carried out by one or several Full Members of the CSP who are chosen by the General Assembly at the proposal of the Coordination Committee for a term of two years (which can be renewed).

The Secretariat is accountable to the Coordination Committee and the General Assembly.

The Secretariat is responsible for the following tasks:

  • maintaining and updating membership lists / databases/ archive;
  • coordinating internal and external communication;
  • facilitating communication within and organizing regular meetings of the Coordination Committee;
  • ensuring communication with the Supervisory Council;
  • administrative coordination of the work and meetings of the General Assembly, assisting in organizing the meetings of the CSP Working Groups and other internal structures;
  • other administrative functions assigned to it by the Coordination Committee.
  1. Procedures for Adopting Documents and Statements

Any of the CSP’s structures may make independent statements or declarations in their own names. 

Any three Full Members may propose a statement to be made in the name of the CSP and call for other participants to sign on. If a statement is supported by a minimum of thirty subscribers, it may be published using the CSP’s logo and means of distribution, but will always carry the signatures of those Members that support it.

  1. Adoption of this document

This document was approved by the CSP Council on 03 SEPTEMBER 2019 and replaces the following documents:

  • Organizational Principles of the Civic Colidarity Platform of 2012;
  • Rules of Procedure of the Council of the International Civic Solidarity Platform of 28 FEBRUARY 2012.
  1. TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS
  • Current CSP members automatically become "Full members";
  • Current members of the CSP Council (i.e. founding members) are automatically included in the CSP Supervisory Council.